Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Publication date: June 4th, 2019
I was super excited when I managed to nab an ARC of Sorcery of Thorns at Yallwest this year (I mean, it was a little insane). Having heard good things about Enchantment of Ravens, I was all set up to be wowed, but also the premise is pretty amazing. It follows Elisabeth, an apprentice training to become a warden at one of the world’s Great Libraries, I.E. libraries filled with magic books THAT ARE ALIVE. When someone starts releasing the most powerful grimoires from their prisons, it’s up to Elisabeth to stop more priceless books from being destroyed, and to save the world (I guess). So, basically this book has everything I love in fantasy: living MAGIC books, a kickass heroine, shenanigans, demons, and an evil plot to end all. You would think that would have won me over completely. Alas, I found myself often irritated and struggling not to roll my eyes so hard they’d get stuck in the back of my head.
What I Liked:
- The characters all had really good chemistry with each other. I quite enjoyed the development of Nate and Silas’ friendship, as well as the hate-to-friendship of Nate and Elisabeth.
- Silas is literally my favorite character. He’s all sneaky and scary but then also a total cinnamon roll. UGH.
- Elisabeth’s friend (Katrina?) was also a favorite. She’s so smart and loyal and I heart her.
- The application of magic in this world is unique and interesting. I would have liked to know more about it, but oh well. I did like that Margaret Rogerson included the history behind the locked up magical grimoires.
- I really liked Elizabeth’s personality. It was very “I am who I am. If you don’t like it GTFO.” It was quite refreshing for a character to know who she is and for her to be comfortable with that, maybe even confident in it too.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Okay, I’m sorry but Elisabeth is DUMB. I swear, she has the decision-making skills of a small child, not the formidable librarians apprentice she’s supposed to be. Also, it somehow ALWAYS works out in her favor!?!? The logic is so flawed here. I just can’t.
- I feel like there’s hardly any building action. It kind of just rambles along until like 75% and then turns on max levels. There’s a lot of mini climaxes, but none of them are rewarding or satisfying.
- The romance in this is almost nonexistent. It was similar to seeing a mirage on the desert horizon.
- Something within this book just fell flat for me. The plot, while interesting, failed to keep me emotionally invested or captivated.
Overall, this book was a real let down for me. I read Strange the Dreamer earlier this year (review here), and absolutely loved it. And while Sorcery of Thorns gave me major Dreamer vibes, it ultimately fell flat in comparison. The sad thing is, I really wanted to like this book. It literally has all the stuff I need to love a book. I even felt bad giving it the rating that I did. But, this book just wasn’t for me. I still think some people will enjoy it, just maybe not anyone who can compare it to Strange the Dreamer.
*Thank you to RIVETED by Simon Teen and the Yallwest organizers for this ARC and opportunity.*